Rhode Island man gets 4 years in stolen ID, fraud scheme

Published 10:06 am, Thursday, January 25, 2018 PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A Rhode Island man has been sentenced to four years in prison for using stolen identities to obtain credit cards that he used to make tens of thousands of dollars' worth of fraudulent purchases. Federal prosecutors say 25-year-old Reynaldo Martinez, of Central Falls, was also sentenced to three years of probation and ordered to pay almost $40,000 in restitution to retailers he defrauded, including Kohl's, Saks Fifth Avenue, Best Buy, and Home Depot. He pleaded guilty in November to multiple charges including four counts of aggravated identity theft. Most Popular 1 1 dead in FBI 'operation' in Trinity Gardens area 2 CVS in Lawndale hit with apparent smash-and-grab 3 Carjacking, kidnapping leads to gunfire in Northwest Houston Prosecutors say he used various sources, including the internet, to obtain Social Security numbers and the personal information of other people that he then used to make counterfeit government identification to secure credit cards or lines of credit. Continue Reading

Get to know Long Island’s rising stars

From the South Shore to the East End, Long Island's got talent. Here, we put the spotlight on locals who are making names for themselves in the entertainment world. LILY TAMBURO, East Setauket (left) and ANNABELLE DEANER, Melville THE GIG They split the role of Ivonka in "Once," which runs through Sunday at the John W. Engeman Theater in Northport. THEIR STORIES Lily began performing at 4 and has appeared in "Guys and Dolls" and "Seussical." AnnaBelle was 5 when she started doing theater and has done voice-over work, including a Korean animated series, "Magic Adventures: The Crystal of Dark." "Once" is not the only time the girls have shared a role -- they took turns as Molly in "Annie" at Engeman. For "Once," they perform four songs, including one in Czech, which they say was challenging. They also play a few notes on the viola -- AnnaBelle knew the instrument, Lily had to learn. WHAT'S NEXT Neither has a new show lined up, but AnnaBelle is looking forward to getting her ears pierced. ALISON BERKE, Oceanside THE GIG Her single "Fear to Be Loved" and its music video came out Friday. HER STORY Though she appeared in Off-Broadway shows when she was younger, Berke, who goes by Ali B, says she's begun taking music seriously in the past three years. Since the summer, she's played more than 30 club dates, including Amityville Music Hall and Revolution; performed "God Bless America" at Citi Field, and released a single, "Stranger to Love," in November. As a songwriter, she's inspired by her own experiences, as evidenced by "Fear to Be Loved." "It's about getting your heart broken and being scared to love, and I know I'm not the only one who's gone through that," she says. Berke plans to put out an EP in the near future. WHAT'S NEXT She'll perform at the South by Southwest Music Festival in Austin, Texas, on March 13 and will headline at 89 North on March 31. SAMMI RAE MURCIANO, Long Island THE GIG She's a singer-songwriter who recently released "The Story," Continue Reading

CSX freight train derails in Washington, D.C.; one car leaking hazardous material

WASHINGTON — A CSX freight train derailed near a Metro stop in Washington, D.C., on Sunday morning, sending about 10 cars off the tracks and spilling hazardous material from one of them, emergency officials and the railroad company said. No injuries were immediately reported and no evacuations were ordered. The train derailed Sunday about 6:40 a.m. near the Rhode Island Avenue Metro station and one of the derailed cars is leaking sodium hydroxide, which is used to produce various household products including soap and detergents, CSX spokeswoman Kristin Seay said. Sodium hydroxide is a highly corrosive chemical that can irritate and burn the skin and eyes. CSX says it is working with first responders to contain the chemical. It was not immediately clear what caused the derailment. Photos tweeted by D.C. Fire and Emergency showed cars in a zigzag line across the tracks. Chris Nellum said he lives nearby and his window looks directly over the tracks. “I thought it was like a semi-truck coming toward the building and when I looked out the window, I saw cars piling up,” said Nellum, who had just moved in the night before. “So I’m not even used to hearing trains. It was jarring.” Part of Rhode Island Avenue was closed in both directions. Nellum said his girlfriend tried to leave the area and was told to stay put, but she eventually found a way out. “She’s an environmentalist so she is very concerned about whatever is leaking,” he said. The Red Line’s Rhode Island Station also is closed and Metro was reporting delays along that line. Metro said it would establish bus shuttle service between the NoMa and Brookland stations. The CSX train had three locomotives and 175 cars, including 94 that were loaded with mixed freight, and 81 that were empty. Continue Reading

A food tour of Atlantic City

Just when I thought it wasn’t possible to fit another morsel of food in my mouth, I jumped back on the jitney and drove to another great restaurant.So it went on my culinary tour of Atlantic City. One gracious host after another presented yet another fabulous meal, and I kept on eating. For the sake of my readers, of course.The tour was designed to showcase the many fine restaurants and sandwich shops on the streets of this gambling mecca. The Atlantic City Alliance, a nonprofit group charged with revitalizing the city’s battered reputation and broadening its appeal beyond gaming, sponsored this media event.We kicked off the weekend with a Friday night cooking class at Viking Cooking School inside Harrah’s Resort. (Yes, the school is located inside a casino, but it was so much fun I didn’t question it.)Chef Richard Younger, a semi-retired chef who runs a ministry in nearby Pleasantville, demonstrated how to prepare foods for a gourmet date night: lobster pot pies; grilled Caesar salad; and porcini-crusted filet mignon with jumbo crab-stuffed shrimp. The cost was $129 per person.The class was limited to 16 adults — four groups of four at each work station. We bonded over the slicing, dicing and grilling. Then we sat down at a large dining room table to share the meal. It was a wonderful way to start off the weekend.Feeling fuller than the stuffed shrimp, my party jumped on a jitney and headed over to The Iron Room on Albany Avenue for a wine and cheese pairing class. Paul Tonacci, a Colts Neck native, opened the wine shop in 2003 and added a small dining room behind the shop a decade later. It’s one of the coolest hangouts in the city.Tonacci has more than 700 wines on his shelves, along with high-end bourbon, scotch, whiskey and craft beer. The restaurant specializes in small plates, offering 34 different cheeses. My favorite pairing was a Dutch cow’s milk cheese called Prima Donna served with the inky-purple 2012 Philip Continue Reading

The Station nightclub fire 10 years later: Healing continues as West Warwick, Rhode Island, takes next step in recovery

The building’s footprint is still there. Ten years later, 100 crosses outline where The Station once stood. One hundred small, wooden reminders of every person who died on Feb. 20, 2003 when a pyrotechnics display at a Great White concert went horribly, tragically wrong. Over 400 people packed the tiny roadhouse, just hoping to hear some music on an otherwise mundane winter night. What they got was 5-1/2-minutes of living hell as the building, not equipped for the many patrons and with too few emergency exits, burned around them. When the cleanup at the corner of Kulas Road and Cowesett Avenue in West Warwick, R.I., was completed, when the snow — stained black as the building burned to the ground — melted away, the crosses went up. And they’ve remained there, as a number of factors stood in the way of a proper memorial being built in memory of those who lost their lives on that cold Thursday night. So much has changed in the last ten years, but that spot, at 211 Cowesett Ave., has remained essentially the same — a humble collection of homemade tributes surrounded by overgrown shrubs. For some, it’s an eyesore. For others, it’s a sacred place. And for a few, it’s both. On Sunday, a group of survivors and family members, politicians and neighbors, gathered to witness the unveiling of a new vision for the overgrown plot. “The light is finally shining. It’s been a very, very long process,” Gina Russo, the president of the Station Fire Memorial Foundation, told the Providence Journal. The plans call for a thoughful beautification of the site, where people gathered on Wednesday, the 10th anniversary of the fire, and lingered long past 11:07 p.m., the moment the deadly fire started. When I first moved to New York, and conversation with new friends and co-workers inevitably turned to questions, like, “where are you from?” I was often at a loss for words. Continue Reading

Hurricane Sandy not the first to hit New York: 1938 storm ‘The Long Island Express’ pounded the Eastern Seaboard

As New Yorkers braced for Hurricane Sandy on Monday, the memory of another superstorm swirled in the air - The Great Hurricane of 1938, which devasted Long Island and the Eastern Seaboard 74 years ago this fall. That storm, known as the “Long Island Express” or “The Great New England Hurricane of 1938,” was initially expected to hit Miami, but surprised the East Coast after it changed direction and started speeding towards New York and New England on Sept. 21 with winds moving between 60 and 70 mph. HURRICANE SANDY STORM TRACKER: LIVE UPDATES Hurricane warnings weren’t even issued at first, and many residents didn’t know about the danger until they saw the winds pick up or their homes begin flooding. HOW DOES SANDY STACK UP? HURRICANES IN HISTORY The storm, also dubbed the Yankee Clipper, claimed 700 lives - including 10 in New York City - and injured 708. Sam Platnick/New York Daily News One of the many homes wrecked in hard-hit West Hampton Beach, Long Island in the 1938 hurricane, where many met death. On Fire Island more than 1,000 bungalows were demolished after the hurricane hit. 4500 homes, cottages and farms were destroyed, according to SUNY Suffolk professor Scott Mandia, while 15,000 were damaged. Cars also took a beating - roughly 26,000 vehicles sustained damage in the storm - while 2 billion trees were reportedly wiped out across New York and New England. WHY IS THIS STORM DIFFERENT? THREE REASONS WHY HURRICANE SANDY IS UNLIKE ANYTHING YOU'VE EVER SEEN  The full extent of the destruction totaled over $300 million, according to MSNBC. New York Daily News Archive The Daily News front page from September 22, 1938.   John Drennan/New York Daily News Nassau County cop rescues two younger members of a family, from their rain flooded home in Williston Park, Long Island. Hundreds were forced to leave their homes after the hurricane hit. New York City ducked the most Continue Reading

Amazing oysters at Boston’s Island Creek

The scene: The oyster bar is an old tradition among American restaurants, but the genre has recently experienced a renaissance, with new offerings from San Francisco to Greenwich Village and every place in between. Island Creek is leading this revival, and accordingly, does not resemble your grandfather's oyster bar. It is a sea of gleaming stainless-steel surfaces and smooth leathers with a slightly Asian aesthetic, more sushi bar than oyster bar. With its sleek, hanging light fixtures and a "mixology"-focused cocktail bar, everything about the space is hip and urban.Island Creek is located in Boston's Hotel Commonwealth, an ingeniously designed boutique hotel on the edge of the Back Bay neighborhood that features two restaurants, a high-end cocktail lounge, and several stores built into a façade that appears to be separate from the hotel. Island Creek has its own entrance from the street and if you were not staying at the Commonwealth, you would never know it was part of it – there is no aura of "hotel dining" here. Despite the cutting-edge aesthetic, Island Creek feels like a part of the longstanding Boston social fabric. While it normally opens at 4 p.m. and early for brunch on Sundays, it typically opens two hours before the start of every home Red Sox game at nearby Fenway Park, serving lunch for day games, and also adds special hours and meals for big events such as the Boston Marathon. The vibe is busy and welcoming to tourists and locals alike. 10 GREAT PLACES: Savor oysters on the half shellReason to visit: Raw oysters, fried-oyster sliders, all lobster dishes, fresh seafood of the day, steamed littleneck clams, fried clams.The food: The farm-to-table and sustainable agriculture movements have swept the country and the restaurant industry, but you might be surprised to find this includes bivalves. Island Creek is not just another raw bar restaurant – long before it started serving its oysters to the public it was selling them to the Continue Reading

Atlantic City makeover continues with Boardwalk project opening

In another sign of an ongoing renaissance in Atlantic City, the first phase of a $50 million reconstruction of the famous Atlantic City Boardwalk was officially opened today.“The reconstruction of this section of the Boardwalk has been talked about for decades,” stated Mayor Don Guardian in a statement. “By working cooperatively with the State, we were able to complete this project at no cost to the City.”The new Boardwalk extends from Rhode Island Avenue to Oriental Avenue. It's right near the shuttered Ten casino formerly known as Revel.The old boardwalk was demolished and a total new structure was constructed with new LED lighting, pedestrian ramps and furnishings, city officials said. The project was funded by a $5 million grant from the New Jersey Economic Development Authority.“By rebuilding the Boardwalk in this area, the Southeast Inlet becomes an attractive area for biking, strolling, beach goers and future development," said Guardian, who spent part of his childhood living in Palisades Park.The north end of the Boardwalk is going through a revival as well, with the construction of the $14 million observation wheel at Steel Pier; at least $500 million worth of renovations and 2018 opening of the Hard Rock Casino Hotel on the former Trump Taj Mahal site; and continued renovations to Showboat Hotel and Resorts casino.This Boardwalk reconstruction is Phase 1 of a much larger project that is under construction to connect the famed Boardwalk to Gardners Basin, city officials added.Phase 2 of the Boardwalk project will connect Oriental Avenue to Gardners Basin with a seawall and Boardwalk. This $45 million project will be completed in 2018.“When completed, the Inlet Boardwalk Project will not only provide a great pedestrian and biking amenity, but will also incorporate a seawall that will protect valuable waterfront properties and promote their development. These properties could never be developed in Continue Reading

Biker injured in Brick collision

BRICK - A motorcyclist was injured in a crash with a car at Lanes Mill Road and Rhode Island Avenue, police said.The accident occurred at about 11:40 a.m. The motorcyclist is in serious condition, but is expected to survive, according to Sgt. Robert Hine. READ: Woman hospitalized after boat runs aground Police Lt. Tim Boyle said the motorcyclist was taken to a hospital, but he was unsure which one. The driver of the car was not believed to be injured, he said. READ: Police ID 2 killed in Parkway crash The intersection was closed after the accident, but has now reopened.Hine said the accident is still being investigated. He said the impact was so great that the motorcyclist cracked her helmet. She suffered head injuries and lost consciousness at the scene. Kathleen Hopkins: 732-643-4202; [email protected] Continue Reading

Michael Flynn faces legal peril in Washington. In his Rhode Island hometown, he’s revered.

MIDDLETOWN, R.I. — They show up unannounced, with cash and checks to drop off at William Flynn's accounting firm on busy Aquidneck Avenue. "I was shocked and a little embarrassed," he said. "Some don't even know my brother, but they...wanted to do something for the family."And at a local wedding celebration earlier this month, a guest sought out Jack Flynn for a private moment. “I don’t have a lot of money," the wedding guest told him. “But I want you to know that I wrote a check for $100 to help your brother."Michael Flynn is one of the most vulnerable figures in special counsel Robert Mueller's widening inquiry into Russia's interference in the 2016 election. That investigation took a dramatic step forward this week, when former campaign chairman Paul Manafort and aide Rick Gates were charged with money laundering and conspiracy for activities that took place before they joined the campaign. Another Trump campaign aide, George Papadopolous, pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his Russian contacts – Mueller's first public allegation that an aide to President Trump’s campaign sought to work with Russian officials to gather “dirt” on the Democratic nominee.Unlike Manafort – whom prosecutors allege spent more than $1 million from offshore accounts on clothes alone – and many other Trump associates caught in the investigation's grip, Flynn and his family are not wealthy. As he struggles with legal costs verging on seven figures, residents of the small community Flynn calls home are rallying to his side, even though this New England town hardly qualifies as Trump Country – it's a deep blue stronghold where even some of his own family have long identified as Democrats.The Flynns never occupied any of the ostentatious Newport mansions that overlook the most privileged coastline in Rhode Island. But the Continue Reading